WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – The Pentagon has turned to an unlikely ally to help cure a fatal blood infection seen in troops suffering massive traumas – the gaming community.
In an effort to help prevent a blood infection that can turn deadly when patients go into septic shock, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency have reached out to Foldit, the online gaming community funded by DARPA, to tinker with protein designs to cut down on the number of infections.
Defense Tech reports that DARPA connected with Foldit to see whether gamers could look and redesign protein strains in a session that could potentially lead to a new protein to help attack sepsis, the blood infection that can turn fatal when patients go into septic shock during a body’s fight-or-flight response.
By implementing the effort, DARPA hopes to limit the number of cases seen from troops who often go into shock after going through a massive trauma on the battlefield, according to Defense Tech. In a statement, DARPA said that they are aiming to design “protein-based pathogen capture reagents to be used for the removal of circulating pathogens patients’ blood as part of a larger [dialysis-like therapeutic] system.”
This isn’t the first time the Pentagon has turned to the gaming community to solve a lingering problem. In January, it took the Foldit community of 240,000-plus gamers just three weeks to help remodel a protein design that scientists had been working on for years, according to Defense Tech.